Category Mental Health

221 posts

New Painting: Preview

My husband and I have been working through Battlestar Galactica, we’re currently on Season 4 and we love it. Last week we realized that instead of working on one oil painting in art class, we’ll probably end up working on two, so I was trying to figure out what to use my second canvass on, and it hit me. We’ve been wanting to do something BSG related in the office, so I came up with this.
I call it, Starbuck’s Destiny.

Starbuck's Destiny BSG Sketch

It’s great because it keeps with my night/dark scene concepts that I’ve been wanting to work on (apparently, people rarely do that, go figure) and is also something derived from something current…and honestly, I’m really proud of my adaptation of the Cylon Raider.

The Burden of Homeschool Parents

I’m not a parent, but as an early-graduate home-school alumnus, and one who did a lot of teaching to my younger siblings, I think that I can be afforded some room for an opinion. I was thinking the other day about graduating and how it felt then versus how it feels now.

Honestly, I was not ready to graduate when I did. But I thought I was, at the time, when I was 15. I believed my mom when she said she’d taught me everything I needed to know school-wise and was prepared for the world beyond high school. In my (and my mom’s) defense, I did end up graduating with 30-some high school credits, but we opted out of higher math (and by extension, higher science like Chemistry 2, which was replaced with basic nutrition and physical education dvd courses) – my fault, because I couldn’t find anyone to teach me algebra in a way I understood. My parents didn’t have the time (too many other people to school), and my grandfather, who has a math degree, was just way above my comprehension level on the subject.

This lead to years later (i.e. now) my feeling inadequate when it comes to math, higher education, and simple SAT tests. Last year, I took the SAT’s, and naturally (for me) did well on verbal/writing/reading sections, and scored just above the minimum in math. There were things on the test I’d never even seen in high school – because I never got that far, and went for consumer math instead (give me fractions any day).

When I was in high-school I was relieved to have a basic life-math that I understood taking place of algebra, which was a constant thorn in my side and the cause of many tears and frustration.  But…..that wasn’t what was best for me. I didn’t know that. My frustrated mother didn’t have time, and was just as happy as I was to find a substitute that I could do by myself like the rest of my subjects.

Aside from that I feel like I got a pretty decent (tailored) education. I think something that many home-school parents don’t consider is that their children trust them implicitly, beyond their public/private/charter schooled counterparts. Not only do we trust them to take care of us, love us, and provide for us, but we trust them to know what’s best for us and what we need academically. We trust them to give us a *better* education than the system, because, at least, that’s the message preached in the homeschool community.

However, “the education system” that home-schoolers avoid have more teachers, assigned to specific subjects that they know about/have degrees in. The students there have the responsibility to learn – much like home-schooled students. The difference is, the parents have the job of all the different teachers, yet often without the education. In the name of “tailored” education often leave parts of education that seem “unnecessary” out of their child’s curriculum, even skipping basic things (like algebra). Home-schooled kids learn what their parents teach them, and other subjects that are left out, they’re none the wiser about. Until they get older.

It’s a sad feeling when you realize the people you thought were giving you “the best education” ended up leaving you feeling inadequate and behind because they failed to teach you something necessary – whether that be math, spelling, language, or even basic sex education (evil of evils) because you didn’t seem to “get it” and they were trying to prepare you for <insert choice path here>.

I’m not against tailored education at all, however, I don’t think that other, necessary, subjects can/should be eliminated in the name of “you’re going to be a wife/mother you don’t need algebra” or “you don’t need to learn a language you’re going into trade” essentially, in the name of “I don’t think it’s necessary”. School standards are there for a reason whether we agree with them or not. The beauty of home-schooling is not in all that you can leave out, but all that you can let in, and the flexibility of tutoring to specific learning styles.   The appeal of homeschooling is not “graduate your kid at 16 regardless so s/he can help with the rest of your clan” but that it’s not a one-size-fits-all standard that we hear so much about in schools.

I feel like parents get caught up in the idea that they can choose what their kids know that they miss the heavy burden that lays on their shoulders – the burden to do as good, or better, than the dozens of teachers in school every day. These parents, or in most cases, one parent, has a huge responsibility to their child’s education when they decide to take it on themselves. Especially if they live in a place without, or opt out of home-school groups or co-ops that provide opportunities for kids to learn things their parents may be lacking in from another parent who’s strong in the subject. Admittedly, home-school curriculums have been getting better with DVD/computer courses and labs for various subjects (how I got through biology without a lab, and prepped for the SAT) and those are helpful, but don’t take the place of learning from other real-life people.

I guess, if I were to mention one thing that might help….I’d say try to prepare your child to get into an ivy league, like Harvard, MIT, or some such, regardless of if they’ll go or not, but meet those educational standards. Then add whatever your child is interested in to their education – be it the arts, electronics and engineering, computer programming, or what have you. Allow them opportunities to learn about what they’re interested in without neglecting staples like spelling, language arts, higher maths and sciences, history, and even foreign language.  Also, teach your child to their learning style – I learned best with a group, and my best high-school experiences were in our co-op with other parent teacher’s who’d grade my work and were strong in their subjects. Some of my siblings prefer one-on-one mom time and learn better that way.

The other thing I want to say, is don’t be ashamed to find a class or teacher, or even send your child to a school if you aren’t equipped to teach how or what they need to be taught. I know most home-school parents and philosopher’s disagree, because the school system is the “big bad”, but honestly, you’re a parent and you need to do what’s right by your kid, even if that means you can’t teach them at home.

There’s no shame in that – I dare say that’s better parenting than people who home-school regardless of the fact that they aren’t able to meet their kid’s educational needs simply because they’re so scared of “the system”.

A Year In the life

of my blog. haha. I usually miss these…but here I am, I’ve been blogging (here anyway) for a year. *fills with some sense of accomplishment* I originally started this blog to document my “firsts” of adult/married life and living up north. Back in my political blogging days I would have called myself a “breakfast blogger” – there’s no real direction and I can write about whatever I feel like, and you know what, I like that.
I’ve come a long way in the last year… picked apples, drove in the snow, dealt with random car maintenance and flies, experienced real seasons, celebrated my anniversary, and started to learn new things. It’s exciting really, when I think about it – I’m taking time to learn things that I never did before, like painting and music. I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone and doing things even though I may be nervous at first.
I’m proud of myself.

weather speak

It’s been overcast since Sunday, and according to the widget on my dashboard, we won’t be getting any sun until Saturday. I usually like rainy days…when they last a day and then there’s sunshine, but it feels horribly depressing when there’s no sun for days on end; Even when there are happy things going on (like my art class that started tonight). I’m always surprised how much my mood and energy level changes when there’s blue sky and when there’s not. A day of sunshine will somehow translate into way more energy and less grumpiness. I’ll end up doing all kinds of housey or artistic things (and I’ll be more confident driving). When it’s dark for days, sometimes even thinking about doing something creative (or cleaning, for that matter) just drains me.
Come to think of it, that’s probably why they invented Vitamin D3 capsules… I should probably start breaking those out.

Someday List:

This morning I was thinking of things that I really really want to do (with Alex and by *myself),or be able to do someday, even though they won’t really happen now. <introspective mood>
– Go dancing (either something fancy or just a random dance party)
– Explore Europe (England, France, Italy?)
– Walk on the coast of New Zealand in a white sundress
– *Showcase my art (which means having pieces good enough to showcase)
– Work on Film sets, maybe dabble in costume/wardrobe and editing
– Write a book
– Make a Short film
– *Hold a sign-making seminar for campaigns (in which they bring me their signs and I help make them better. maybe more just sign consulting)
– *Start dancing again (ballet, hip hop, jazz…)
– Learn how to ballroom dance (waltz, tango, latin…..)
– Have a fluffy cuddly pet with a cool name.
– Have an awesome house with a beautiful view…with two offices (so I can have an art room), at least one spare bedroom, a large kitchen, and possibly a home theater.
– To have enough resources (time, experience, equipment, insight, contacts) to help people get started on their dreams.
– *To host a fun party or something….with sherbet punch and shirley temples.
– To be able to be a temporary safe haven, help out friends, host people
– *Possibly help out a civil rights group
– Play instruments really well (together)

The Human Body

Is probably the most complex, intricate, beautiful, and unique thing ever created. In more conservative circles, things as simple as drawing the human body in it’s natural form is frowned upon at best and often times is accompanied by a connotation of perversion.  But why? The human body is beautiful, why should we not try to understand it? try to capture it in ink?
From a technique perspective, studying the body is the best way to learn to draw it – to understand the curves and the muscles and how they all fit together. From an artistic standpoint – we spend time trying to replicate nature in our art, why avoid one of the most intricate and beautiful pieces of that? us, our bodies.
I guess all of this is really to say, it’s not perverted to draw the human body in it’s natural form, when it’s natural form was created in the image of God and declared good. There’s no reason to shy away from it or label it as “bad” when it’s simply beautiful.

Stress meter

Last week was an overload – on Monday I was depressed, Tuesday I was stressed, Wednesday I got my first ever pink slip from the police (who explained my inspection sticker was expired and I explained I had no idea and was looking at -apparently- the wrong number), Friday we found out that everything inspection-related that could be broken was (and we failed), it can be fixed for $1300 and we’ll have our car back on Tuesday, Saturday we got a lift home to our locked apartment and waited for our landlord to come unlock it (keys were at the mechanic and in the couch. lovely). This week, we’re car-less till tomorrow (hopefully) and I miss Glee’s season premier (yes, that actually matters to me). On Saturday there were several times I thought I was just going to snap and lose it in front of everyone. Thankfully, Alex helped me feel better after he found me hanging out at the gallery (he waited at the apartment and I hung around town). He let me talk and made cinnamon buns and watched movies with me. Sunday I was feeling pretty good.
My stress meter is fragile – and I realized today, it’s *very* delicate. Right now I’m thinking that I should live in a bubble.  For some reason all my introspective thoughts or sad and scary daydreams take place while I’m doing the dishes…limited counter space and moldy coffee cups from the days we weren’t home aren’t exactly conducive to less stress. I sort of snapped a little, I was frustrated, took it out on Alex and his coffee cups. Mostly by rushing out of the kitchen and sitting on the couch with a pouty face. Alex pointed out that my stress meter is fragile and I need to take a break and cool down, I’d already done more than I needed to.
That helped. He doesn’t care if there’s stuff left undone, or if it gets done all the time, he just wants me to not stress.
So I was thinking while I was trying to cool down, that I’ve come a long way – I have a lot of shit to process and heal, but this is what I have right now:

  • Amazing, loving, healthy relationships with my husband, his family, and my adopted family.
  • no babies! or chance of babies!
  • a beautiful in town apartment that’s walking distance to everything (handy for days when I have no car)
  • warm cuddly blankets and the freedom to curl up and stay in them as long as I want to
  • good art supplies and lessons
  • freedom to learn and explore whatever I want to because I’m not tied down to a job
  • freedom to do nothing
  • a running car that we’ll be able to sell if we want to
  • safe friends
  • coats!
  • enough money to live comfortably (and Alex won’t let me in the clearance sections) and get things that I’d like because I *want* them regardless of practicality (even though I rarely do because I feel guilty for spending money on me…haha…and things that I *want* usually aren’t crazy expensive, and the ones that are we save for).
  • a ukulele!
  • dishes 😀

Big things, small things, random things, they’re all important to me. Even though I stress easily (soooo easily) and I’m not handling it as well as I’m used to (less suppression, so maybe it’s good), at the end of the day, I still have people who’ll make me feel better, and a safe environment, and people who want me to really live and be happy and people who don’t mind my imperfections or things I didn’t get around to doing. That’s progress.